Whew! The President Cup is done. As we heave a sigh of relief and sit back, we realise what an exhilarating weekend it has been. For the 58 swimmers of DSA Swim Club, their families and loved ones, for whom preparation had been on for months and months, it was the yearly ritual coming to an end. Now, they are more relaxed to celebrate the festive season that’s coming along.
The 33rd National Inter-Club Swimming Championship for the President Cup this year was a weekend like no other. A total of 1039 participants from all over the country representing various clubs participated for 3 days of intense competition. After Melaka last year, this year, it was held in the National Aquatic Centre, Bukit Jalil. Did the familiarity of the location improve performance for DSA, yes, it sure did!
The crowds of participants, anxious parents and coaches started pouring in a day earlier itself, when the public recreational pools were closed for allowing practise sessions. On the race-days, the activities started very early, as the first heats of the day started promptly at 8 am. The President Cup remains as the single most awaited event on the swimming club’s meet calendar with young swimmers looking forward to this opportunity to prove themselves. The young lot were really into it, with the under 10 age group of both girls and boys having up to 28 heats for some events. The amount of participation at that level was just mind-blowing. If all of these young boys and girls kept to their training in the years to come, the competitive swimming levels in the state and country has indeed a bright future. The atmosphere in the stadium was really abuzz with the constant flow of swimmers moving between their rest area in the stands and down to the pool; parents moving with food and refreshments making sure their wards are in the best state of mind for the next event and coaches were busy reminding their swimmers of tiny adjustments and techniques that could further enhance performance.
Our team, DSA Swim Club, this year saw more number of participants and the performance of each and every one of them has been heart-warming. The Club’s performance as a whole was commendable, not just with the increase in number of participants, but also in the team rankings at the end of the competition. From the 10th position last year DSA moved up to the 6th position overall, among the 35 clubs that participated, which in itself is a tremendous morale boost.
Some of the sterling performances this year include Yumi Okuzono, a 10 year old Japanese girl, small and diminutive, she captured everyone’s heart and everyone was on their feet cheering the lil’ girl in the yellow swim cap, curious about who she was, and where she came from. Yumi won a total of 4 golds and 4 silvers in this meet. She attributed the reason for her performance to the training and guidance by DSA coaches.
Sean Goh, is known as a calm, steady 13 year old with lengthy limbs, which enhance his superb swimming skills. With a total of 3 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze this year, he has come way ahead from his last year’s performance of 1 bronze. Sean, to his coaches is someone who has “give it all” attitude in every training session and that to them is the reason for his brilliant achievements last weekend.
Misa Okuzono, is a 8 year old with remarkable swimming skill for her age. A timing of 34 seconds for her 50m fly event, and 1:19 for 100m fly has made her very happy. Misa’s main aim is to make the Japan Junior Olympics Cup qualifying time.
Georgene Wee is another swimmer who has improved a lot since the last year. From a timing of 48 seconds in her 50m breaststroke last year, she clocked 39 seconds placing 3rd in the same event this year, which is remarkable and is a reflection of her dedicated training and passion. Georgene too, attributes her performance to training with her team mates and her coaches at DSA.
Chan Evon, a bright and cheerful 13 year old girl joined DSA squad in 2012. She has improved in all her events in this meet, which to her was unexpected. Initially she was very nervous and doubtful about her performance in the 100m free event, however, sound advice from her coach saw her improve from 1:10 to 1:05. This indeed is very laudable, and she is very thankful about that. Evon revealed that her father was the one who inspires her, especially in doing chin ups and inverted kicks in the gym. She aims to qualify for the state team in 2015.
On the whole, the meet brought out the best in everyone on the team not only on the competitive side but also a lot of fun and unforgettable moments to the swimmers. They are looking forward for the upcoming event (Pra-KL) which is scheduled at the end of January 2015. DSA Swim Team’s performance obtained a total of 249 points, with Yumi and Sean Goh gathering 86 and 63 points respectively to be the toppers. Contributions to the total also included Chan Evon with 11 points, Lee Jia Jing with 10 points and Georgene Wee with 9 points. Moving up to 6th position was a great step for the team and this was possible due to the hard work of each and every swimmer who participated, the support of the families and the dedication of the coaches who spared no effort in bringing out the best in everyone.
Hurrah and three cheers to everyone on the team to continue to work harder in training together and achieve more in the coming years!